Fashion-able: Totes, buckets, satchels & more

We On The Fourth Floor understand that not all bags can transition through the seasons. Our bulky black leather purse we’ve been toting around for eight months, while gorgeous, can be a bit heavy and dark when temperatures start to soar. 

We’ve compiled a few handbags we’re coveting, from all different price points, that we think would make a good addition to our summer ensembles. Not to mention also great if you need any Fourth Floor gift ideas. 😉

First up is the always-popular PS1 satchel by Proenza Schouler ($1488), but in a great tropical print. As we’re sure you’ve seen a certain ubiquitous neon satchel, nothing says summer like a fun, bright bag. It may be a bit pricey, but FASHION shows us how to rationalize this investment piece. (Both Natalie & Christina are big fans).

On the other hand Kylie would opt for a classic M.A.C. (Morning After Clutch) by Rebecca Minkoff bag in an army green colour. Always thinking ahead she comments that “their fall colours include maroon and green. They are all pretty beautiful and I’m a big fan of the gold hardware.”


This practical chic Filson ($300) satchel caught the eye of Abby who thinks It’s cute, will last forever and the long strap also means that I can wear it while riding my bike. Score.”

For a classic tote at a higher price point Andie opted for a Prada bag ($1730) she’s had her eye on for a while, “I could wear this bag in any season. Though I’m a little wary of a lighter colour getting dirty, I think its the perfect size for taking from day to night. Definitely a good investment.”

Erin is in the mindset for summer and says “all I need is my bright pink rattan beach bag for my towel, sunscreen and a good magazine,” which makes this Rebecca Minkoff tote ($206) perfect for a jaunt to the beach. 

The newest member to our Fourth Floor crew Christie, is a self-proclaimed loyal Coco-follower and heavy advocate of the double C’s. Often the 2.55 is A. overdone and B. not always summer friendly,” but would opt for this Chanel metallic python version if money was no object. Price point? Not in our budgets.  

If money was no object, which bag would have your eye on? 

We’re Not Just Pretty: Desia Halpin-Brill

Starting out in the culinary world, Desia Halpin-Brill soon realized that unless she got to eat with her friends, cooking and baking were not going to cut it. Looking for a new creative world, she attended Lasalle College in Montreal and received a scholarship to study at FIT in New York – where she found her fit.  After graduating with a degree in Marketing and Communications, she worked with a few agencies honing her PR skills with experiences that took her to the Cannes film festival, the AMA’s in L.A. and New York Fashion week.

In 2001, Halpin-Brill returned to Canada and Brill Communications was born. Over a decade in the biz later, she’s still enamoured with the PR world and runs
an agency with her husband  focusing on fashion, beauty and lifestyle.  With a fantastic team, Brill has grown to full service, bilingual PR agency. The client roster includes large retailers, beauty brands and Canadian designers, keeping everyone all busy as bees.  

Desia, second from the left, during a client event.
Twitter: @BrillComm

How long have you been in your current position? 
10 years.

How does your company leverage PR for your clients?  
We work predominantly with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands, so it is anything from previews and launches to openings and pitches; sample trafficking; early morning shows and autograph signing; to fashion shows and presentations. We keep our couriers running and our showroom bustling, but never our clients or editors waiting.

What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member?  
Personality. You have to have one, everything else can be taught or learned.
Who gave you your first big career break? 
A fashion PR agency in New York. I had helped organize a Halloween party for a friend and a publicist attending said they could use someone like me, and that’s all she wrote – I was hooked.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior? 
Be real, stay connected and always – I mean always – treat others the way you would like to be treated.

What do you love most about your job? 
The people. I love meeting new and interesting clients, editors, stylists, producers, actors, singers, etc.

If you weren’t doing PR, what would you do? 
Raising llamas.

A little more from the fourth floor:

Designer: Proenza Schouler.  
Store: I am kind of a shopoholic, so my stores change frequently. Currently it is Muji.
Book: Right now something fluffy: Chasing Harry Winston.
Snack: Cheese, in any form (except in a spray can. Yuck!).
Sexy: Sparkly eyes and a great smile.
Inspiration: Nature.  
Drink: Perrier.  
Motto in two words: Less is more (oops, that’s three).
Idea of perfect happiness: Sunshine.
Indulgence: A great glass of red wine.  
Celebrity crush: I have several: Brad Pitt, James Franco, Josh Hartnett, George Clooney and Mark Ruffalo.  
Favourite tweeter to follow: @pliving; @coreymintz; @designmilk.

Fashion-able: Structural bags

Here On The Fourth Floor, and like most women, we need bags that are great for work and play. Versatility meets style is the name of the game when you work 9 to 5 p.m. and then go straight to evening events. Fun and bright structural bags are perfect to go from a client meeting straight to a work event.

One of our absolute faves is made by the Cambridge Satchel Company. The bag comes in tons of bright colours and can be seen recently on some of our favourite fashion blogs (here and here). This piece is classic, fun and adds a splash of colour that will make any outfit snap, crackle and pop.

Best yet, the 15-inch satchel is less than $150. Awesome.

Image source.

If you have deeper pockets, Proenza Schouler’s PS1 is the structural bag for you. Available in a variety of bright colours and luxe materials like calf velvet, leather and crocodile you can’t get a more luxurious structural bag. Hollywood’s shiny stars live for this bag and it’s been seen on the arms of the Olsen twins, Jessica Alba and Nicky Hilton, if you care.   

Image source.

Bags start at $1,500 and go up (way up) from there.

The bag we’re also coveting is Rebecca Minkoff’s newest design, appropriately named Cupid.  We love the shape, the detailing and the gorgeous color options. How perfect is this teal?

The Cupid is available for $495.

Looking to take your boyfriend to post-work events without looking like a slouch? Filson makes the perfect structural satchel appropriate for any date night. The Leather Field Satchel is handmade in Seattle and will last your boy a lifetime. Hopefully your boy lasts that long, too.

Image source.

Available for $795 (find it at Garrison Bespoke in Toronto). 

What’s your summer 2011 must-have bag? Comment below or tweet us @rockitpromo.

Fashion-able: Office wear

After we style our hair, but before our morning Americano, we must get dressed. Each season brings amazing options, from the playfully printed to the chicest sportswear. We want to wear it all. And yet, when choosing our trends of choice, we must first consider our settings. 

Not every style fits in with every workplace. Just because you’re working in a corporate environment doesn’t mean you need to be without style, nor does working from home need to mean workout wear and pajamas. Our office-wear guide will help you work looks from the runway to your corner cubicle, open concept or kitchen table with ideas for corporate, creative and home work spaces.

From the fringe frenzy at Dior to the colour blocking schemes at Jil Sander, much of Spring 2011 fashion is bold. Despite the drama, the season also marks a return to fashion simplicity. With a minimalist comeback, fashion girls working in the corporate world need not feel limited.

Inspired by menswear, designers paired black with white for androgynous looks that were starkly simple but clearly current. A.L.C’s Tapered Jersey Pants have the right slouchy-meets-tailored look for any office. Mid-rise jersey with a drawstring waist and front pleating, these cool semi tapered pants have neat draped slit pockets. 

Contrast your black pants, with American Eagle’s Favourite Shirt ($14.95) in white. Made of soft stretchy cotton, this Oxford-style button-up has a chest pocket and double-button cuffs, which make it uber-preppy (in a good way). Complete the look with J. Crew’s Satin Bow Tie ($52). Expertly hand-finished English silk satin, it’s time to get suited up and looking sharp.

Creative Space
Bring on the feathers, rock out in neon and load up on print on print, because in a creative space, almost anything goes. From Prada to Miu Miu and beyond, designers clad their models in layers of fruit prints and polka dots.

Take a cue from the runways, and look spot on with ASOS’s Wilma Draped Pant ($82). The silky pants in black and tan cheetah print have back and hip pockets and a stretchy waist (bonus). Add another print to your outfit with the Black Stallion Blouse ($78) in black and ivory. Mix the horse print top with cheetah print pants, and you’ll be sure to stand out in this wild wear. 

Finally, to sparkle in your printed apparel, clasp on Dannijo’s Lilith necklace ($488). Made by hand with love, the bib necklace has rock chains and Swarovski crystals to balance even the boldest of patterns.

Home Office
Although the line of sweats may come in all the season’s colours, fashion girls working from home must beware of the Free City slump. So toss your hoodies aside for outfits that bring together the best in comfort and style.

Having a major fashion moment, Proenza Schouler offers its wearers not only the latest “it” bag, but also amazing crew neck tees. Available in cream and black narrow bar stripes, the Striped Tee ($375) long sleeve top is a true classic wardrobe staple.

Stay casual-cool wearing your nautical tee with J.Crew’s Minnie Pant ($98) in henna. Deemed the magic pants that look good on everyone, the bi-stretch fabric create a slimming fit that you’ll want to wear day after day. 

And because no casual look could be complete without a touch of denim, layer on Urban Renewal’s Vintage Cut-Off Denim Vest ($58). 

What’s your favourite office-appropriate look? Tweet us @rockitpromo